Fair trade marketing is about making sure small producers are paid enough to cover their costs and have enough to live on.
The argument against fair trade is that it distorts the market and encourages oversupply, resulting in further price falls. The advantageous price paid to producers could result in dependency.
There are two basic components:
- Providing a working model of international trade that makes a difference to producers and consumers.
- Challenging business practice by modifying the dominant economic model.
The labelling/certification scheme is important in brand differentiation.
Fair trade works well with the idea of an ‘alternative high street’ – towns like Garstang and Hebden Bridge.
Mainstreaming can result in growth in what still remains a niche. However, mainstreaming could also result in dilution of the message.
Firms could attempt to enter the market and redefine it to better suit the marketing strategies.